Inaugural Saudi International Set For Huge Field

The world numbers one, two and three are all playing in Saudi Arabia plus a number of other big stars

Inaugural Saudi International Set For Huge Field
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The field for the Saudi International looks incredibly strong, with the world's top three all playing

Inaugural Saudi International Set For Huge Field

Saudi Arabia hosts its first ever professional golf tournament later this month with the European Tour's Saudi International.

The country has come under criticism in recent months due to political controversy, however the event looks like it will be very well attended.

Taking place at the Royal Greens G&CC in the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), the tournament will include a stellar field including world number one Brooks Koepka, number two Justin Rose, number three Dustin Johnson and Masters champion Patrick Reed.

Other big names confirmed include Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation said last month after announcing Rose, Garcia and Poulter: “Today’s announcement reiterates our intention to make the inaugural Saudi International one of the world golf’s strongest events.

"Our ambition from the start was to amass a box office field that would build immediate impact and allow us to showcase the ambition of Saudi Arabia and its bright future to the world, whilst laying solid foundations for future endeavours.”

You would also imagine that it will feature many of the European Tour's finest, who may opt to bolt it on to the desert swing with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Dubai Desert Classic the previous two weeks.

The Saudi International's prize pool of over €3m is significant, bigger than the Dubai Desert Classic, but it is dwarfed by the €6m Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship which has now been made a Rolex Series event.

However, there could be one reason why its field looks to be so strong - appearance fees.

Tiger Woods was reported to have turned down in excess of £2.5m to appear and when asked why he was playing in the Middle East, Dustin Johnson said, “I can think of a few reasons.”

DJ will also play in Abu Dhabi, as will Brooks Koepka.

Masters champion Patrick Reed said that playing in Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with politics and is instead a tool to grow the game worldwide.

“I can’t wait to go over and try to grow the game of golf around the world,” he said ahead of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“We’re athletes. We are going over to play golf. It’s a different thing than politics. We leave that to the people who handle politics.”

The Saudi International takes place from 31st Jan - 3rd Feb.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV